Thanks to the generosity of my neighbor I have some wonderful apples with which to make apple juice. Without the generosity of family, friends, and neighbors our food stores would not be so abundant, I just received a large box of squash from my parents garden, another offer to pick apples at a friends house, this spring another friend took me foraging for asparagus, showing me the prime spots to search, there were plums and cherries from my parents trees, rhubarb from my grandmother's yard, squash from a coworker, and corn and beans from the garden at my husband's place of work. We are grateful for all this generosity, it allows us to eat more locally, saves money, reduces packaging, and the food is nutritious.
Homemade apple juice does not compare to store bought, homemade tastes so fresh, like just picked apples. The apples from my neighbor are excellent eating apples, so we are only using the bruised and small apples for apple juice and saving the rest for eating fresh. I also took two of the larger apples and baked them for a treat. The cider mixed with brown sugar carmelizes as it bakes and the addition of cranberries and walnuts add flavor and texture, these are so good and lighter than a pie.
Baked Apples with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries
2 large apples
1/3 cup brown sugar, plus 2 teaspoons
1 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon whole cloveswalnuts, chopped
Slice off the very top of each apple and core it, place them in a baking dish. Fill cored center with walnuts, cranberries and one teaspoon of brown sugar each, sprinkle the top with cinnamon.
Mix apple cider and 1/3 cup brown sugar and pour around the apples. Sprinkle the whole cloves in the cider around the apples.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, until apples are soft.